Gamecocks Beat Southeastern Louisiana; Advance to Championship Game|
Feb. 19, 2005
Tallahassee, Fla. - South Carolina softball defeated Southeastern Louisiana 7-1 Saturday afternoon to advance to the championship game of the Sunshine Tournament at Florida State University. USC will face Syracuse at 11 a.m. Sunday for the title. Seven of the starting nine recorded hits for the Gamecocks, including two triples by Jessica Josker and a home run by Stefanie Norman. Jessica Barnes earned the victory for USC and is now 4-2 while USC improved to 8-5 on the year.
Carolina recorded seven runs on 12 hits and two walks off of Lions pitcher Summer Delaneuville (3-3). Southeastern Louisiana fell to 4-5 on the year. The 12 hits marked the fifth game this season the Gamecocks recorded 10 or more hits in a game. Barnes held Southeastern to one run on four hits and struck out a season high nine batters.
Carolina established an early lead in the first as Josker led off with a triple to right field and Cornett singled to drive in Josker. A two base error by Michelle Lemons allowed Ashley Smith to reach base and Cornett to score from second, giving USC a 2-0 lead.
The Lions jumped on the board in the fourth when Amy Ford scored from third on a passed ball. Ford reached base on a fielder's choice and advanced on back-to-back singles to get into position to score. The Lions also had designated player Katie Szmergalski single to reach base, representing the tying run, and Kelli Gautreau who singled, representing the leading run. The passed ball moved all runners forward with two outs but after Ford scored, Jenaye Zeringue flied out to center field to strand the runners and end the inning.
Carolina added another run in the bottom half as Stefanie Norman led off with a home run that was hit into the street just outside the left field side of the park. The home run was Norman's first of her career.
USC posted a four run sixth and connected on five hits including Josker's second triple of the game, a single by Whitney Wierzbicki, Cornett and Becky Martinez, and a double by Smith. In the bottom of the seventh, Barnes gave up a lead-off hit to the Lions but then struck out the next three batters to clinch the victory.
The Gamecocks will now get a rematch with the Syracuse Orange who handed USC a loss earlier in the day. Syracuse eliminated No. 18 Florida State to advance to the championship game. Both USC and Syracuse are 2-2 in the tournament.
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